Islam is lifelong learning
It has been a long time wish of mine to visit a Chinese Muslim state. Being a Muslim and learning Mandarin as a second language, I have always been fascinated by the eastern and Chinese culture. An amalgamation of both, is a dream come true.
Locals selling Halal food
With the blessed company of Sister Mariah Mah and my best buddy at work, Ms Mary, we embarked on this journey to Zhaotong City in Yunnan Province. The whole journey was an eye opening one, from the stream of friendly Muslims, donning songkok (hats/caps) and tudung (hijab), greeting “salaam” on the streets to rows of mouth-watering healthy halal Chinese cuisine. The locals both Muslims and non Muslims coexisted very peacefully.
The streets of Zhao tong was a mix of trendily clad women among backdrops of old vintage buildings. The cold spring weather was perfect for the long walks that you can take to get your best deals in the wholesale markets.
These old ladies from farming villages are mostly illiterate with little knowledge of Islam and every year Bro Hassan Lee of Mao hua jie Masjid organises a 3 day stay in learning session for them. Food Transport and teachers’ remuneration are all sponsored by Donors for this Lifelong Learning Project conducted every year for groups of illiterate elderly Muslims n Muslimah from remote rural village to learn about Islam.
We took a ride on the bumpy roads with scenic view, to visit the learning center and preschools that have been built to benefit the community in Guizhou.Province We witnessed how the intention of one lady (Sister Mariah Mah) can not only benefit the community there, but she also created the opportunity for many of us to reach out to this Chinese village.
This short trip was a reminder to me that Islam is lifelong learning. From listening to the beautiful recitation of Al-fatihah by a 9 year old, to meeting a group of elderly women who had travelled to study the religion in a madrasah, I have been reminded that there are no constraints in life, ONLY I SET MY OWN LIMITS.